Col 2:23 "These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh."
This passage in Colossians as every passage in the bible has something in it that we need to SEE. Apparently there are some things that have an appearance of wisdom that promise to help Christians stop sinning, but actually they have no value to stop the indulgences of the flesh. So what are these things that Paul calls worthless? Verse 21 tells us that the law without the Gospel is powerless.
I am taking our youth through the book of Galatians. A weekly joke with our few teens is that every gathering we talk about the same thing. In fact, the book of Galatians is about one thing and that one thing is repackaged and retold over and over again chapter by chapter. The reason Paul did that is because we have to truly know that we are not saved by works of the law but we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus alone. The Galatians needed to know that they are not simply saved by the Good news of Jesus but they are also sanctified by this same good news. Paul says in Gal 2 that the life he lives is by faith in the One who lives in him. Paul wants the Galatians to understand that they are saved by Jesus grace and sustained by Jesus grace. But there is a problem, and the problem in the cities of Galatia is a problem that exist still today.
The problem arises when people want to get over the work of Jesus in favor of our own work. Silly things are said like "Jesus does his part, you do yours" leading people to leave Jesus in the dust in favor of the law. Col 2:21 says that the law "Do not handle, do not taste, to not touch" is powerless to stop the indulgence of the flesh. Sadly this is what so many of us have fallen victim to. "Now that you are a Christian stop doing all of this and start doing all of this and everything will work out perfect" some say. This sounds so wise and makes me ready for the challenge but it simply does not work. So what does have the power to help us stop the indulgences of the flesh if it is not the law? Jesus!
Col 2:19 "Holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body is nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God" Freedom!!!! I need growth from God and this passage tells me where it is found. Hold fast to the Head! Hold fast to the Head! Hold fast to the Head the Bible proclaims! If you are trying to grow as a Christian by the law please abandon attempts and cling to Jesus. Jesus is strong enough to convert us and strong enough to sanctify us and we are powerless to do either. Turn from lawful bible reading toward being amazed by Jesus bible reading. Pray not because you are supposed to but pray because Jesus has given you access to the Father as a son or daughter. Hold fast to the head and the indulgences of the flesh will soon or later grow stale. Glory to God alone!